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Dear Diary

Dear Diary…a journey of cancer recovery

The ‘Dear Diary…’ project is a unique collaboration between a researcher, a cancer survivor and an artist! As part of a doctoral research into how women recover from cancer, one of the participants unexpectedly arrived with a diary, which tells the story of her year and a half journey from cancer diagnosis to recovery.

The artist Sheila Wood uses watercolour and mixed media to magically bring the significant moments of that journey to life. This artwork is currently on display at the South Tipperary Arts Centre in Clonmel until Saturday November 3rd. Vincent_Cunane-Sheila_Wood-Noeleen_Doherty-Marie_Walsh.jpg The official Clonmel launch of ‘Dear Diary…’ took place at 6pm on Thursday Oct 18th at the South Tipp Arts Centre in Clonmel. It was opened by Clonmel Mayor Richie Molloy who spoke of the importance of helping people understand what happens to the person and their family when they get a cancer diagnosis.

Vincent Cunane, President of Limerick Institute of Technology emphasised how powerful a major life trauma (like illness) can be to inspire a person to re-examine personal priorities and values. He also noted the importance of collaborative research. Noeleen Doherty who wrote the diary read excerpts from her experience and recovery from Breast Cancer. The artist Sheila Wood spoke about how dealing with cancer was a movement from dark to light and facing a life that is somehow unravelling.

If you take a closer look at the artwork for Dear Diary you just might see the unpicked threads of silk that Sheila incorporated into a number of the artworks. The researcher – Marie Walsh, from Limerick Institute of Technology has been working with women in remission from cancer for the last 3 years. From her work with 66 female cancer survivors, Marie highlighted the important role that supportive relationships and a positive mindset plays in helping someone to recover.

The rates of cancer in Ireland are continuing to rise. However with early prevention, continued improvements in treatment and a much better understanding of how to recover from cancer there is a much greater chance of a good and healthy life beyond cancer.

October is breast cancer awareness month. Dear Diary is kindly funded by the Heritage Office and the Arts Office of Tipperary County Council. The Dear Diary installation is at the South Tipp Arts Centre in Clonmel until Saturday Nov 3rd.

If you have ideas about where else it can be installed or ideas for a permanent home please contact Marie at Tel: (086) 0701086 or Email: mariea.walsh@lit.ie ​​

Sheila_Wood-Noeleen_Doherty-Richie_Molloy-Marie_Walsh Students_Looking_at_Art
Top Image: Vincent Cunane, Sheila Wood, Noeleen Doherty and Marie Walsh
Left Image: Sheila Wood, Noeleen Doherty, Richie Molloy and Marie Walsh

Right Image: Students Looking at the Art​​​​

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